Perhaps Steve Williams would beg to differ, but William McGirt thinks that if Tiger Woods calls you an idiot, the only correct response is eternal gratitude. His career has apparently taken a turn for the better since that fateful encounter. While he hasn’t won a PGA Tournament yet, McGirt is edging ever closer to that possibility. He already has 12 top-10’s under his belt, with T-8 and T-2 finishes in his last two starts.
The turning point of McGirt’s career happened when he was at a tournament. He was having such a bad case of the willies that he couldn’t bring himself to look at the leaderboard. Tiger soon set him straight after hearing the story secondhand. In McGirt’s own words:
“I was telling the story on the putting green at the PGA at Kiawah [later] that year, and I told Joe LaCava (Tiger’s caddie) that I had never looked at a leaderboard on the back nine and that it was my only regret. Tiger was hitting putts and he looked straight up, and he said, ‘What?’ He walks over and we’re basically nose to nose and he says, ‘OK, spill the beans.’ I told him it was basically my first time in that situation on Tour and that I didn’t really want to screw it up by looking at leaderboards. So, we had a nice little conversation, and he goes, ‘You’re an idiot.’
And just like that, William McGirt was a changed man who made absolutely certain he looked at a leaderboard at the next tournament. Looks like Tiger Woods does have the potential to coach those Ryder Cup hopefuls to victory.